I took Jasmine to a popular hilltop restaurant overlooking the entire city of Los Angeles. It was a clear night. The view was incredible. Jasmine and I both had tea. I was finally just having tea on a date, but with Jasmine I didn’t mind how much time I spent. I’d picked this spot not only because it was near where Jasmine lived, but because of its romantic veranda. The veranda was an inspiration point. People who did not make out on this veranda were fined. At least they should have been.

The veranda was an inspiration point. People who did not make out on this veranda were fined. At least they should have been.

Things were going well. I tried not to get too excited. After we finished our tea, I suggested we admire the view on the veranda. Jasmine hesitated, again, but agreed. The veranda was secluded, reachable by stairs. It was covered by tall trees and landscaped shrubs with the restaurant’s entrance above it, along with arriving cars and valets who tended to them. Below the veranda was the City of Angels. We stood side by side, taking in the luminous skyline. Jasmine mentioned she was cold. That was good news. I gave her a chivalrous hug to help warm her up. She gladly accepted it. My right hand, as if having a mind of its own, slowly made its way to her left buttock. The moment I touched her there she asked, “Carlos, may I communicate something to you?” It was like I pressed a button. I wondered if she would say something else if I pressed her right buttock.

Unfortunately, in one form or another, I had heard other women ask if they could communicate something to me before. Since we had our clothes on, I wasn’t too concerned about what Jasmine needed to impart. I told her, yes, she might communicate something, hoping she had recently won the lottery. She hadn’t. Instead Jasmine informed me her heart had been broken not long ago. She thought she was ready to get back out there, which is why she tried speed dating. But she realized she was not emotionally available. My hand was still on her ass. I asked if I should remove it. She told me it was fine to keep it there; she just wanted me to be aware of where she was emotionally. I thanked her for telling me and put my other hand on her other butt cheek, half expecting her to say, “Carlos, may I express something of relevance to you?” She didn’t say anything. Despite her broken heart, she was fine with her ass being grabbed.

Since things were proceeding, I went in for the kiss. Jasmine backed away, telling me, “I’m not ready for that. Sorry. It’s too intimate.” My knowledge of prostitutes was limited to the film Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts. In that film, Julia Roberts plays a hooker with a heart of gold. One of her rules was no kissing on the mouth because it was too intimate. A little voice inside my head encouraged me to ask Jasmine if she was a prostitute, or at the very least ask if she had seen Pretty Woman. I didn’t. It would have spoiled the mood. Jasmine was probably not a prostitute, and even if she was — prostitutes are people too.

Still embracing Jasmine, she clarified our situation, seductively whispering in my ear, “We can do anything you want, except kiss.” Anything you want covered a lot of ground. I was tempted to find out exactly what she meant, but in the end realized I would have felt self-conscious engaging in soft and/or hard-core sex acts while valets were on the job just above us. Jasmine and I began heavy petting. We caressed and tastefully touched one another. But no kissing. Still, our lips were practically touching — our eyeballs were practically touching.

I stared into Jasmine’s pupils, telling her, “You’re so pretty and so close. I really want to kiss you.” She said nothing, staring deeply into my pupils. “I’m going to kiss you.” Still nothing from Jasmine. Just her stare. I slowly, respectfully, began leaning toward her, reaching for a kiss. She slowly backed away. I followed her. She veered left, then right, then left again. The entire time I matched her movements, inches from her face. The two of us ended up in a super weird snake charmer kind of dance. It was like we were practicing erotic tai chi.

Occasionally, someone else would walk by on the veranda. We would stop until they were gone and then go back to not kissing. In a way, it was more sensual. All things being equal though, I would have preferred tongue. Jasmine moved away from me once and for all, gathering herself. It was time to go. I dropped her off at her apartment building. She caressed my face with a sad expression, telling me she enjoyed the evening and I was a nice guy, which was the equivalent of throwing me into an active volcano as part of a ritual sacrifice. It came as no surprise then, that she did not return my subsequent calls or texts. Not one for bothering people who don’t wish to be bothered, I erased her number from my phone. C’est la vie. Weirdness aside, meeting Jasmine was a valuable experience. She further clarified what I was looking for in a girl. This has been such a difficult question to answer for so long. What was I looking for?

A vision of the perfect girl was slowly coming into focus. She was somebody whose father didn’t want to blow me away with his shotgun just because I didn’t go to his church. She wouldn’t abandon me in the produce section by the strawberries, but did dream of visiting the South Pacific with her lover. She wasn’t ready to move in with me the moment we made eye contact, nor was she the kind to let random strangers suck on her elbow in the desert sands. She didn’t have herpes, or if she did — she’d tell me about it over a nice, quiet dinner rather than under the hot, sweaty sheets afterward. This was negotiable, her having herpes, but preferably she didn’t have it or any of its cousins. She wasn’t homophobic or dumb, which were one and the same. And when we kissed, our lips touched. When I met someone who fit into all of those categories, my search would finally be over and I could take a nap.

Reprinted from PLEASE GOD LET IT BE HERPES by Carlos Kotkin by arrangement with NAL, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012 by Carlos Kotkin.

 

Speed dating going about as well for you as it did for Carlos? Try Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (19 Comments)

Mar 14 12 - 8:18am
Walk, Don't Run

You know, she could be odd or not, there's just not enough data to tell. However...about Carlos... It's been 15 years since I've dated, but do you really go for the ass-grab right after just a cup of tea? This boy could learn some patience.

Mar 14 12 - 11:29am
ST

This made me uncomfortable. You were obviously pushing way too hard way too early.

Mar 14 12 - 11:55am
jones

It made me uncomfortable, too. At first it was mildly humorous but then it veered into creepy. "Nice guy?" Sounds more like someone who doesn't take "no" or "don't do that" very seriously. No wonder the woman kept hesitating and then didn't call him back.

Also: "A little voice inside my head encouraged me to ask Jasmine if she was a prostitute" - really? Not funny.

Mar 14 12 - 2:34pm
Rachel

Poor Jasmine! That sounds like one of the worst dates of all time.

Mar 14 12 - 11:46am
js

What? I thought this was great. "Three minutes with Jasmine felt like two minutes." Hilarious!

Mar 14 12 - 12:50pm
Indy

"Unfortunately, in one form or another, I had heard other women ask if they could communicate something to me before. Since we had our clothes on, I wasn’t too concerned about what Jasmine needed to impart."

Yowch. I guess now we know why the rejections from the others.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

Mar 14 12 - 1:14pm
eb

This was very awkward, both in writing and story, probably because it's being told from the perspective of a creep.

Mar 14 12 - 1:34pm
IB

I get the feeling he's like 23 years old and hasn't yet discovered the difference between cocky asshole and cocky charming........ creepy

Mar 14 12 - 5:13pm
Amy Wallen

Pretty cool. I'm so buying this book for me and all my friends, at least anyone who has ever dated because this reality with a good dose of humor (aka truth telling). I love the part where you don't have to tell her you're kidding. Geez, that was numero uno rule on when to dump a guy for me. Luckily, I've found a funny guy who makes me laugh too. Way to go Carlos!

Mar 14 12 - 8:11pm
kermit

I bought this book (cha ching, Kotkin) on the basis of this piece. I must say, the more I read, the less I liked Carlos. With the exception of one chapter in which he recounts taking some awkward family friend to the prom, he comes off as a twee, self-satisfied creep with this weird tea affectation and a really disturbing reluctance to try anything he wrote off as a precocious, obnoxious ten year old--sort of like an adult who won't eat vegetables.

Mar 15 12 - 12:09am
Gayle

Carlos' writing is great but ew what a speed-slut. I was creeped out on the land grab, too.

Mar 15 12 - 2:15am
Rj

creeeeeeeep. If your girl is hesitating the entire time and not only not taking the lead but also backing away, you need to take a hint.

Mar 15 12 - 11:55am
Georgina

I bought this book and enjoyed it very much. Carlos came off as a sad sack at times but his intentions seemed genuine. The H Word story from where the title comes from is hilarious.

Mar 16 12 - 12:04am
KateZero

"Would you like to go out and kiss me on the Veranda?"

"No, the lips are fine"

Mar 16 12 - 4:49am
MeSaysNo

Hint: If a girl says she doesn't want to kiss you, don't try to kiss her and certainly don't press it by going in for the "kill" time after time. If a guy doesn't respect my "no I don't want to do this" regardless of what "this" is, I certainly wouldn't call him back nor want to see him again. Surprised he is single? Not in the least bit.

Mar 16 12 - 10:28am
LT

"She seductively whispered in my ear, 'We can do anything you want, except kiss."
If a girl said that to me - forget kissing - we'd be doing cirque de solei acts in the parking lot.

Mar 19 12 - 3:19am
wha?

nice demonstration of douchiness.

Mar 20 12 - 5:18pm
yuba

I'm thinking some of you folks don't get it.

May 13 12 - 11:58pm
adultdatingtalk

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